Monday, September 29, 2008

Bill Mollison: Repairing Dryland Systems

Wow, I love this guy more and more. Since I live in the West of the USA, I am mindful of the importance of water and the fact that we are living in a semi-arid desert completely dependent on irrigation for our survival.

The first part of this video shows 60 year old swales that were built in Arizona during the 30s in response to the dust-bowl and the topsoil being blown away from over-grazing and the clear cutting of forests. Our president at the time called for and created work crews of engineers and hydrologists to repair our country, this is the same type of consciousness we need today combined with the knowledge of permaculture and ecological thinking (whole systems thinking). Seeing these swales gives me so much confidence in their effectiveness. A little human effort can create the conditions for nature to naturally repair itself. They are so powerful that they can turn a desert into a forest, which was also shown in geoff lawtons example in Jordan.

As I drive around town I see work crews replacing sidewalks or putting up apartments and strip malls and big box stores, imagine the work we could do if we put those people into repairing the earth and working for sustainability. How about digging up the concrete and installing fruit and nut trees, and tearing up the strip malls and big box stores to plant gardens in the rich soil underneath? Maybe I'm too radical.

These days feel similar to how I felt in the late nineties when people looked at me funny when I tried to explain to them what the internet and e-mail were, and how important it was for them to check it out.

Watch and learn the wisdom of Bill Mollison and Permaculture.




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